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New York approves legal online sports betting

7 April 2021

On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced highlights of the FY 2022 Enacted Budget, a plan that contains new revenue resources, including authorizing mobile sports wagering.

According to a press release from Cuomo's office, once fully phased in, the legalization of mobile sports betting will provide more than $500 million in revenue for the state and "grow what could be the largest sports wagering market in the U.S. into a profitable industry long-term."

Under the legislation, the state will issue a Request for Applications and must select at least two platform providers who must work with a maximum of at least four operators or skins. Once fully phased in, the program will provide $5 million annually to youth sports, and $6 million to combat problem gambling, doubling the resources currently available.

The remainder of this new revenue will be dedicated to education that provide the revenues needed to make the investments that will support New York's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and New York's recovery from it.

"New York was ambushed early and hit hardest by COVID, devastating our economy and requiring urgent and unprecedented emergency spending to manage the pandemic," Governor Cuomo said. "Thanks to the State's strong fiscal management and relentless pursuit to secure the federal support that the pandemic demanded, we not only balanced our budget, we are also making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the aftermath of the worst health and economic crisis in a century."

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., a long-time sports betting proponent, told Bloomberg News that operators would be required to give back between 50% and 55% of their mobile revenues back to the state and that the state would begin requesting proposals for three new downstate casino licenses that could bring in licensing fees of $500 million each or more.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which already has a land-based sportsbook in the state at del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, is in prime position to be one of the mobile operators. The company's Vice President of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel, Griffin Finan, said in a statement: "We want to thank the legislature and Governor Cuomo for the progress made in bringing legal, regulated, mobile sports betting to New York. We look forward to learning more as the process continues to unfold."

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